Washington driver's licenses could soon offer ‘nonbinary' gender choice

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington residents who identify as other than female or male may soon have another option to choose from when getting a driver's license.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee's office released a news release pushing for 'X' to be added as a gender option that is not exclusively male or female.

"It's imperative of our government to include as many people as possible so that people actually feel like they're part of society, and that they're seen and heard," Elayne Wylie, co-executive director of Gender Justice League, said in support of the ‘X' option.

In July 2017, Oregon became the first state in the United States to offer X as a gender option on licenses.

"Identity is a fundamental human right," Teresa Berntsen, Director of the Washington State DOL, said. "We, as the Department of Licensing, serve every Washington resident. And the driver's license or the state-issued ID cards are your primary identification documents. So by us acknowledging there are more than two forms of gender, we are acknowledging basic human rights."

The DOL has scheduled hearings in August in Seattle, Spokane and Olympia for public comment.

The first hearing will be held at 5 p.m. on August 12 at The Seattle Public Library.

The agency will then decide whether to make any changes to the proposed language.

The gender ‘X' option could be offered by the DOL as soon as October.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this story.

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